The habitat and nature of early life

  title={The habitat and nature of early life},
  author={E. Nisbet and N. Sleep},
Earth is over 4,500 million years old. Massive bombardment of the planet took place for the first 500–700 million years, and the largest impacts would have been capable of sterilizing the planet. Probably until 4,000 million years ago or later, occasional impacts might have heated the ocean over 100 °C. Life on Earth dates from before about 3,800 million years ago, and is likely to have gone through one or more hot-ocean 'bottlenecks'. Only hyperthermophiles (organisms optimally living in water… Expand
The physical setting for early life
Publisher Summary The oldest strong evidence for life on the Earth is from rocks about 3.5 Ga old, by the time complex oxygenic photosynthesis had already evolved. There is possible evidence forExpand
Scenarios for the evolution of life on Mars
Received 10 March 2005; revised 2 August 2005; accepted 7 September 2005; published 22 November 2005. [1] As the environmental histories of Earth and Mars have diverged drastically after the firstExpand
Origins of life and biochemistry under high-pressure conditions.
Biological and physico-chemical arguments in support of high-pressure origin for life on Earth are presented, which would provide a more stable radiation-free environment for pre-biotic chemistry. Expand
Time, life and the Earth
  • A. Manning
  • Geology
  • Geological Society, London, Special Publications
  • 2001
Abstract Modern developments in the Earth sciences have revealed, for the first time, how our planet actually ‘works.’ For biologists, they have brought a fresh understanding of the interwovenExpand
3 Early Life on Earth and Analogies to Mars
The evidence for early life and its initial evolution on Earth is linked intimately with the geological evolution of the early Earth. The environment of the early Earth would be considered extreme byExpand
The Early Record of Life
Over the last 3.5 Gyr, the biosphere has had a profound influence on the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere, at or near the Earth's surface. However, the conditions when life originated wereExpand
Processes on the Young Earth and the Habitats of Early Life
Conditions at the surface of the young (Hadean and early Archean) Earth were suitable for the emergence and evolution of life. After an initial hot period, surface temperatures in the late Hadean mayExpand
Fermor lecture: The influence of life on the face of the Earth: garnets and moving continents
  • E. Nisbet
  • Geology
  • Geological Society, London, Special Publications
  • 2002
Abstract The Hadean Earth (before c. 4 Ga) was abiotic, possibly sterring a bumpy course between brief periods of hot inferno after meteorite impacts, and long episodes of Norse icehell. The earliestExpand
A symbiotic view of the origin of life at hydrothermal impact crater-lakes.
  • S. Chatterjee
  • Chemistry, Medicine
  • Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP
  • 2016
A new symbiotic model for the origin of life at hydrothermal crater-lakes is proposed here, and it is suggested that RNA virus and prions may represent the evolutionary relics of the RNA/protein world that survived as parasites for billions of years. Expand
Staging Life in an Early Warm ‘Seltzer’ Ocean
The stage for the origin of life may have been set during a period that was as short as 20 million years within the first 100 million years after the formation of the Moon (at ~4.5 Ga). TheExpand


Beginnings of terrestrial life: problems of the early record and implications for extraterrestrial scenarios
Residual questions primarily center around the impairment of relevant information in the oldest record that bears a metamorphic overprint, the apparent non- documentation in the Archaean record of an archaebacterial lineage expected to form the base of the phylogenetic tree of terrestrial life. Expand
Evidence for life on Earth before 3,800 million years ago
IT is unknown when life first appeared on Earth. The earliest known microfossils (˜3,500 Myr before present) are structurally complex, and if it is assumed that the associated organisms required aExpand
Refugia from asteroid impacts on early Mars and the early Earth
Impacts of asteroids and comets posed a major hazard to the continuous existence of early life on Mars, as on Earth. The chief danger was presented by globally distributed ejecta, including transientExpand
Filamentous microfossils in a 3,235-million-year-old volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit
The discovery of pyritic filaments, the probable fossil remains of thread-like microorganisms, in a 3,235-million-year-old deep-sea volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit from the Pilbara Craton of Australia is reported, representing the first fossil evidence for microbial life in a Precambrian submarine thermal spring system. Expand
Early atmospheric oxygen levels: constraints from Archaean photoautotrophy
Various independent lines of evidence suggest that photoautotrophic carbon fixation is a very ancient process that had attained control of the terrestrial carbon cycle from at least 3.5 Ga (if notExpand
Evidence from detrital zircons for the existence of continental crust and oceans on the Earth 4.4 Gyr ago
The discovery of a detrital zircon with an age as old as 4,404 ± 8 Myr is reported, about 130 million years older than any previously identified on Earth and represents the earliest evidence for continental crust and oceans on the Earth. Expand
Evolution of hydrothermal ecosystems on Earth (and Mars
Partial table of contents:. Hydrothermal Systems as Environments for the Emergence of Life (E. Shock). Chemical and Physical Context for Life in Terrestrial Hydrothermal Systems: Chemical ReactorsExpand
A New Molecular Window on Early Life
Chemical evidence for biomolecules from the previous 1700 million years to 2700 million years is extended, by identifying biomarkers characteristic for cyanobacteria and eukaryotes in Archean rocks from rocks from Western Australia, and it is shown that a key attribute of eUKaryotic physiology had already evolved 27000 million years ago. Expand
Initiation of clement surface conditions on the earliest Earth
How long this warm epoch lasted depends on how long a thick greenhouse atmosphere can be maintained by heat flow from the Earth's interior, either directly as a supplement to insolation, or indirectly through its influence on the nascent carbonate cycle. Expand
The History and Significance of Stromatolites
The fossil record of prokaryotes extends back 3500 million years and prokaryotes were only forms of life known for the first 2000 million years of Earth history. Understanding the fossil record ofExpand